Home > Blog > Clever Ideas (Feedback)

November 22nd, 2013 | Author: David

Clever Ideas (Feedback)

Thanks for all your comments and ideas. I’m definitely going to add a roll of Saran wrap to my emergency kit. Actually, that would be a really good idea for camping trips as well.

Some of you mentioned that you didn’t know the meaning of “hack” as in “life hacks.” To be honest, I’d never heard the word used in this way before either. I think the person who compiled this list just chose it because it sounds interesting.

Actually, I saw another cool list on Facebook the other day. These are ideas for making your “dream house.” Kattie, maybe you could build an aquarium bed in your new place?

As I think I mentioned before, I do a discussion class on Wednesday afternoons where we talk about whatever topic we are doing on the blog that week. I asked my students if they had any ideas, and they came up with several. The one I liked the most was putting newspaper inside smelly shoes to act as a deodorant. I didn’t know about that!

Another one was soaking a newspaper in water, ripping it up, and then cleaning the floor with the pieces. I know that newspaper is really good for cleaning windows, but I’d never heard of anyone using it on the floor.

This week, I noticed that there were quite a lot of useful sentences that I think English learners should study. If you don’t mind, I’ll start tweeting these on my “bitsofenglish” Twitter account.

Anyway, here is some feedback on your comments.

a handy tip I know is to put tin foil on the bottom of the paint tray so you don’t have to wash the tray afterwards
Thanks. I’ll use that one when I start painting the deck on my new house!

I misunderstood what you were trying to say.
This is a useful sentence for everyone to learn if you didn’t already know how to say it.

Same as Yu,
Like Yu,

Actually, I use toothpaste to clean up faucets.
I didn’t know that, either. Thanks.

I’m not an DIY person, and neither does my husband
I’m not a DIY person, and neither is my husband.

When I read the article David showed us, I was not sure what the phrase “Life Hacks” meant.
Nice sentence.

I don’t read all 99 hacks yet but I found some of my favourites.
I haven’t read all 99 hacks yet, but I found some that I really like(d).

because I had never heard of the city in the first place
nice sentence

Do the name of the cities begin with the letter “S”(Kyon) and “Y”(David)?
Yes, they do! When I tell people where I’m going to live, they say “Why are you moving so far away?”

I had mistake.
I made a mistake.

Rosie (who was only 2) thought she was called ‘I’
In Japanese, “I” is actually a real name, although it’s spelt “Ai.” It means “love,” and it’s my favourite Japanese name. My satnav is called “Ai-chan.” When she gives me directions, I always say, “Thanks, Ai-chan.” People think I am strange.

To tell the truth, they are not much appeal to me, though.
To tell the truth, they didn’t appeal to me much, though.

>I just noticed that the above exchange is a conversation between “Me” and “You”! All we need now is for someone called “I” to join in!
–What do you mean in Japanese?
Your name sounds like “me” in English, and Yu’s name sounds like “you” in English, so it’s like a conversation between “me and you.” It’s just an オヤジギャグ。
Rosie is the name of Kattie’s daughter.

That’s all for now. Have a great weekend, and let me know if you have any questions.

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Comments

  1. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/11/22 at 1:38

    Hi David,

    Thank you for the feedback. I would never be able to sleep in an aquarium bed! It makes me freeze just thinking about all the water and fish flooding onto my face! But I kind of understand why people want to make their bed a special place. My sister and I used to sleep in a bunk-bed, and we always put the end of old sheets and towels under the upper matress so it looked like curtains. It was so fun doing things together in the dim space. So what is your bed going to be like? Maybe a bed with wheels? lol!

    Hi YU,

    Thank you always for your help!

  2. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/11/22 at 2:04

    Maybe it makes more sense if I had written like this:

    we always “tuck” the end of extra sheets and towels under the upper-bed matress so that it looked like curtains

  3. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/11/22 at 2:05

    Sorry again! ⇒”tucked”!

  4. Tamami
    Commented on
    2013/11/22 at 2:21

    Hi, David.

    Thank you for telling us useful sentences. I’ll study them !
    Reading sentences about shoes and newspaper, I remember something. I do the similar thing that your student does. I put newspaper in my shoes not to remove the smell but to dry them when rain soaks them. Newspaper enables them to dry much faster.
    I didn’t know newspaper can be like a deodorant, either. I’ll use newspaper when my shoes smell!

    Hi, Biwa.

    Nice to meet you.

    >it was so fun doing things together in the dim space.
    I agree with you. When the light in the bathroom was broken, I took a bath with tiny light. First I was afraid because I don’t like ghosts, but after I got used to the dim bath, I enjoyed it (even alone) and thought it was nicer than the bright bath!

  5. YU
    Commented on
    2013/11/22 at 2:56

    Hi David,

    Thank you always for your feedback.

    > it’s spelt “Ai.”

    I have a feeling that we have a member named “Ai”, actually. Or was it “Aki”?

    Hi mii,

    >I just noticed that the above exchange is a conversation between “Me” and “You”! All we need now is for someone called “I” to join in!
    –What do you mean in Japanese?

    David already answered to your question in English, but did you get it?

    最初にDavidが書いたことを日本語訳すると。。。

    上のやりとりってmii(Me)とYU(You)の会話って今気付いたよ!あと”I”っていう人が加われば完璧じゃない?!ウシシ。。。

    Hi Biwa,

    Please don’t trust my interpretation, it was only my “guess”! I’m wating for Kattie’s reply, too!

  6. Anne
    Commented on
    2013/11/22 at 4:04

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.
    >Same as Yu,
    Like Yu,
    —This is the one I am always confused with which one I should use.

    >I’m not an DIY person, and neither does my husband
    I’m not a DIY person, and neither is my husband.
    —Yes, “does” should be “is”! It’s stupid of me…

    >The one I liked the most was putting newspaper inside smelly shoes to act as a deodorant—I always do this way when I need to dry shoes. By the way, when you stuff newspaper, it’s more effective to ball up several newspaper and replace them^^)

    >Actually, I use toothpaste to clean up faucets.
    —Just for the record, please don’t forget to rise and ploish them with dried rag(cloth?) after doing that.

    Hi YU,
    >Or was it “Aki”?—I think it was “Aki.” “Ai-chan” is a special member on this blog that David sometimes talks about.

  7. Kyon
    Commented on
    2013/11/22 at 6:35

    Hi David, mini,and everyone,

    I look forward to meeting you all at my farm next year

  8. Kyon
    Commented on
    2013/11/22 at 6:48

    Sorry, I posted my comment halfway, I will send again.

    Hi David, mii and everyone,

    I look forward to seeing you all at my farm

  9. Kyon
    Commented on
    2013/11/22 at 6:53

    My full sentence seemed to be rejected. It is very strange.
    I will join again some day

  10. Fumie
    Commented on
    2013/11/22 at 11:42

    Hi David and everyone,

    David, thank you so much for your feedback.
    I looked at “dream house” and thought some of them are too exotic and I don’t think I would be relaxed.

    I wanna share other ideas, not stingy ones.
    When I whip cream, I use jam. As you know whipping cream takes lots of time and makes your hands tired. Put jam and mix with cream, it will be strawberry, blueberry cream in a second. You can choose whatever you like by variety of jams.

    When I clean 網戸、net window I use エチケットブラシ, brush that we use to take off dust from clothes. If you wipe the net with brush in right direction dust will flew away.

    Good night and have a lovely weekend!

  11. Kattie
    Commented on
    2013/11/23 at 12:35

    HI Biwa and Yu,

    > My guess is that it means “Rosie never realized her mistake as before because after that Kattie and people around Rosie always called her “I” in front of Rosie half in fun.

    You are quite right!

    Hi David and everyone,

    Thanks for the list – I tried looking at it but I could only get the first 6 (some problem with the computer). The aquarium idea reminded me of a documentary film I saw about a Victorian public loo (toilets) where see-through cisterns were used as fish tanks, they were really cruel because every time someone flushed the loo, the water in the tank went right down and the fish were struggling to survive. The loos are still in existence but these days fish are not kept in the cisterns.

    I don’t know whether Pinterest is popular in Japan but I’ve recently started using it, if you don’t know it, just google Pinterest and you can set yourself up in a couple of minutes. The idea is that you use it like a scrap book, you create lots of different ‘boards’ and then pin great ideas to them, you can also follow other people with similar interests and get new ideas. I am using it to get inspiration for the new house and have boards for bathrooms, kitchens, heating systems etc as well as boards for recipes, Christmas etc. If you’ve got any project on the go, I really recommend it!

  12. Kattie
    Commented on
    2013/11/23 at 12:54

    Hi Tamami

    > I got used to the dim bath, I enjoyed it (even alone) and thought it was nicer than the bright bath!

    After I posted my comment, I just noticed your comment. I agree with you, I really don’t like bright lights and, for example, I would never choose to eat in a brightly lit restaurant.

  13. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/11/23 at 7:14

    Hi Kattie and YU,

    Thanks, I always learn useful expressions from you!

    Hi Tamami,

    On the subject of bright lights, I think Japan is an unnecessarily bright country. Even very nice restaurants are lit very brightly. It reminds me of the picture Mr. Wakata (the Japanese astronaut who is at the ISS at the moment) sent to us. It showed how bright Japan is even from space!

    Hi Fumie,

    Thanks for the tips again. You know lots of things!

    Have a nice weekend everyone! :)

  14. Tamami
    Commented on
    2013/11/23 at 9:39

    Hi, Kattie.

    Me, neither. I prefer dim restaurants.

    Hi, Biwa.

    > I think Japan is an unnecessarily bright country.
    I think so, too. I heard lights in Japan is too bright for people whose eyes are not brown. ( I don’t know if it’s true or not. ) But I didn’t know we can see from the space how bright Japan is !

  15. Kattie
    Commented on
    2013/11/23 at 10:22

    Hi Tamami,

    >I heard lights in Japan is too bright for people whose eyes are not brown

    I have blue eyes – I wonder whether the colour of your eyes really makes a difference, I’m going to google it! Actually, I think that the summer heat and the bright lights in Japan are two things I would struggle with. When we have Japanese guests I always wonder whether (conversely) they hate our dim lights.

  16. YU
    Commented on
    2013/11/23 at 10:29

    Hi Kattie,

    Thank you for your reply.
    It’s always fun learning new expressions from you!

    Hi Tamami, Kattie, and Biwa,

    My husband always takes a bath without the light in the bathroom. He says he doesn’t like bathing in a brightly lit, so he seems to use the light coming through the dressing room next to the bathroom.
    In his country many people take a bath twice in a day, before work/school and in the early evening(often before 5PM), have supper, watch TV or talk with neighbours, and go to bed early. In their case, a light isn’t necessary thing to take a bath because they bath only when sun shines.

    >It reminds me of the picture Mr. Wakata (the Japanese astronaut who is at the ISS at the moment) sent to us. It showed how bright Japan is even from space!

    I wonder if it has something to do with the types of lights. I’ve heard that the most commonly used type of lights for both household use and commercial use in Japan is a fluorescent light(白色蛍光灯, which is dazzling shiny!) while it is almost never used for household use in the West.

    I have an other idea.
    Countless number of vending maschines are along the streets in most cities and towns in Japan. They are lit during the night time. In my living place you can see them every 50 meter! In addition, a lot of shops including covenience stores are opened 24/7 here, too. Come to think of it, even lonely places like coin-operated(unattended) parking lots are often lit during the night time.
    As Biwa mentions, I think Japan consumes power more than necessary, too, but to tell the truth, I always feel quite relieved when I see those bright electoric lights outside at night. It might be one of the reasons why Japan is called the safest country in the world!

    Hi Fumie,

    >When I clean 網戸、net window I use エチケットブラシ, brush that we use to take off dust from clothes. If you wipe the net with brush in right direction dust will flew away.

    Thank you for the timely tip!
    It’s nice to know before 大掃除!

    By the way, I usually use クイックルワイパー to clean up the floor, but the other day, I realized that I ran out of the 専用 clothes, so I used normal towels(店から挨拶にもらうようなペラッペラのやつ) instead. Finally, it turned out that using towels was more convenient, eco-friendly and wallet-friendly. I don’t think I’ll buy 専用 clothes any more! Am I stingy?!

  17. Fumie
    Commented on
    2013/11/23 at 11:07

    Hi YU,

    You are not stingy. If normal towels can use instead of クイックルワイパー専用clothes, that’s good!

    Your discussion about how Japan is brightly lit is interesting.

  18. Kattie
    Commented on
    2013/11/24 at 3:12

    Hi Yu,

    > I’ve heard that the most commonly used type of lights for both household use and commercial use in Japan is a fluorescent light(白色蛍光灯, which is dazzling shiny!) while it is almost never used for household use in the West.

    Yes that’s right – we would only really use fluorescent lights in industrial/commercial settings like hospital corridors, factories etc. I think most people in the West think that fluorescent lighting is cold and too white – the light from ‘normal’ lights/lamps is more yellow and considered cosier but I suppose it’s just what we’re used to. I think you would find it funny to see me now – I have a couple of little lamps on and the light from the fire and I can’t really see the keyboard that well – I could put the main light on to see better but I hardly ever use it because I really hate the harsh light! I’m sure you’re right though, it must be much easier for burglars.

  19. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/11/24 at 11:46

    Hi Kattie,

    >I wonder whether the colour of your eyes really makes a difference,

    Have you googled it? According to the article I found, it seems that it does make a difference! I didn’t know that. It might be one of the reasons why the custom of using dim lighting doesn’t really establish in Japan.

    >I always wonder whether (conversely) they hate our dim lights.

    I don’t think they would hate the dim lights, but some people might need a bit of time to get used to them. Besides, some of my friends say that it costs too much to use yellow light bulbs, and I think it actually does. (I use yellow light except for the children’s room, and the bulbs do go out from time to time!) But I think most people know that it feels cozier with yellow lights.
    However, when I visited London and Paris several years ago, one thing I couldn’t get used to was the dark mornings. (It was December.) I know it’s because of the latitude, but I always longed for the bright morning sunshine.

    Hi YU and everyone,

    >白色蛍光灯, which is dazzling shiny!

    I like that! Really, dazzling shiny. Someone on TV was comparing the brightness between Tokyo(Shinjuku) and Manhattan(Broadway), and as you all might guess, Tokyo was a lot brighter. However, tourists who come to Japan seem to like the dazzling brightness (including the various vending machines) which must be very different from their own countries. It’s a bit sad that such waste of energy is attracting the sightseers,isn’t it!

  20. Kattie
    Commented on
    2013/11/24 at 7:53

    HI Biwa,

    Yes I googled it and I also found an article, I’m not very scientific but it seemed to say that people with lighter coloured eyed have more light reflection in the eye so they find it harder to see in high glare situations. I have never noticed that this is a particular problem but I suppose you just get used to your own limitations – however, I wonder whether this reaction to glare has indirectly resulted in people either liking or not liking bright lights. When I went to Amsterdam in December I particularly remember all the candle lit cafes and restaurants and the lovely smell of home made pea and ham soup, I thought it was so cosy!

    I know what you mean about the dark winter mornings here, it definitely makes it harder to get up! Thanks for the discussion, it’s really interesting to talk about these things on the blog, they’re not the type of thing you read about in tourist guides.

  21. YU
    Commented on
    2013/11/24 at 9:57

    Hi Biwa,

    > However, tourists who come to Japan seem to like the dazzling brightness (including the various vending machines) which must be very different from their own countries.

    I kind of understand them.
    When I was younger, I went to Hong Kong many times. As you all know, most tourists visit there to enjoy shopping and Chinese cuisine, I was one of them, too, but for me, another charm of Hong Kong besides them was the night streetscape with a lot of dazzling neon sign lights along the streets. The view was magnificent. I got very excited and felt the exotic mood whenever I saw the neon sign lights all written in Chinese characters.

    I think neon lights attracts people and make us feel like spending more time outside. It’s indeed a waste to use power to light them, but I’m sure I would be depressed if such “unneccesary” lights were all turned off. Actually, we experienced it for several months after the earthquake, didn’t we?
    Living with only neccessary power like people in my husband’s birthplace is nice, too, but I’m sure I would miss the dazzling brightness in my home soon.

  22. Kiyoshi
    Commented on
    2013/11/24 at 10:55

    Hi everyone.

    Sorry, I couldn’t leave the comment this week timely.
    I don’t have enough time to read the comment, so that it was difficult a bit to follow the talking.
    Just now, I could read the comment of all of you.
    I felt how clever the women who have own family.
    The ideas that I favorite more are as following.

    Good sandwich guide.
    Dental floss to cut the cake.
    Pants hanger instead of book holder.

    I told these ideas to my wife soon and I’m going to try using them in a few days.

    Thank you

    I will try to join more timely.

  23. amo
    Commented on
    2013/11/25 at 1:13

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your feedback.
    >Another one was soaking a newspaper in water, ripping it up, and then cleaning the floor with the pieces.
    Come to think of it, my mother used to sweep the floor with the pieces so that the dust wouldn’t stir up.

    Hi YU,

    >I always feel quite relieved when I see those bright electoric lights outside at night. It might be one of the reasons why Japan is called the safest country in the world!

    I always appreciate those bright electric lights when I walk home from the station at night.

    >My husband always takes a bath without the light in the bathroom.
    I do the same when I stay my parents’ house in Okinawa. Of course I turn on the light when I take a shower at night.

    Hi Kattie and everyone,

    >however, I wonder whether this reaction to glare has indirectly resulted in people either liking or not liking bright lights. When I went to Amsterdam in December I particularly remember all the candle lit cafes and restaurants and the lovely smell of home made pea and ham soup, I thought it was so cosy!

    Like Biwa, I don’t think Japanese people like bright lights but we just get used to bright lights. I prefer the candle lit cafes and restaurants, too :)

    amo

  24. Fumie
    Commented on
    2013/11/25 at 5:39

    Hi Kattie,

    I’ve never heard of Pinterest and don’t know whether it is well known in Japan. I looked at some themes like Christmas, landscape. Just looking at those pictures is fun! Thanks for the information.

  25. David
    Commented on
    2013/11/25 at 9:36

    Hi everyone,

    I think we have discussed the topic of lighting before, haven’t we? There is definitely a difference in sensitivity to light depending on the colour of your eyes. I often see Japanese people skiing without any eye protection on days so bright that I can barely see if I take my sunglasses off.

    I have also noticed that Japanese people tend to prefer fluorescent light to natural light. Whenever I go into a classroom in the daytime, the blinds are always closed, and the lights are always on. Lots of buildings in Japan are designed in such a way that you have to have the lights on even during the day. In the last university I worked at, all the classrooms were like that.

    Anyway, I’m going to be busy today, so I won’t be able to do a new entry until this evening.

    Bye for now.

  26. YU
    Commented on
    2013/11/25 at 11:23

    Hi David,

    I don’t think we’ve discussed the topic of lighting at least since I joined here.

    >the blinds are always closed, and the lights are always on

    I don’t think Japanese people like to use natural light when we work or study, either, but interestingly, we prefer sunny rooms to ones get only little sunshine when we rent an apartment room. It might be because we like morning sunshine and washing clothes.
    Anyway, I’ve been always told that you should turn on the light when you study since my childhood. At my second last working place, people in charge of general affair regularly measured the brightness of our rooms with a special measuring instrument. According to them, apparently your eyes get weaker if you keep working with PC or writing something under the weak light, so they seemed to do the work employees to be in good health.

    > Lots of buildings in Japan are designed in such a way that you have to have the lights on even during the day.

    I don’t know if natural light can perfectly take place of artificial light, and vice versa, though… I guess lots of buildings in Japan are designed in that way not only because of our preferences for types of lights, but also because of the intense heat in our summer. It’s not eco-friendly at all, though!

  27. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/11/25 at 1:58

    Hi David,

    >I often see Japanese people skiing without any eye protection on days so bright that I can barely see if I take my sunglasses off.

    Yes, and I think they’re just crazy! I’m sure they’ll have sore, bloodshot eyes afterwards even if their eyes were dark-colored.

    Hi YU,

    >…regularly measured the brightness of our rooms with a special measuring instrument

    That sounds like a very employee-caring company. We didn’t have that sort of system, but I remember always being said by my parents or teachers not to write or read in dim situations if you didn’t want to be near-sighted. They also said to sit straight and not to be too close to your book/notebook. I wonder if they say that too in other countries…

  28. Biwa
    Commented on
    2013/11/25 at 2:25

    Sorry, there’s something weird with my sentence:

    but I remember always being said by my parents or teachers not to write or read in dim situations

    Probably, this would sound more natural.⇒but I remember my parents or teachers always telling me not to….

  29. David
    Commented on
    2013/11/25 at 10:16

    Sorry, I didn’t have time to do a new entry today, so I’ll do it tomorrow.